The universe spins ever outward from the center, which is us, for we cannot see beyond what our senses allow us to see. We see equally in all directions because the universe tests the strength of our sight at every angle. From our perspective, we see the universe itself moving outward from us. We see the end of the universe and call it the end because we cannot see beyond. We are the center, for the center which is our sense is equally measuring outwards, to the ends of it’s own ability, in all directions where we look. What lies beyond is a mystery. People with sense put themselves at the center to understand their own perspective, and measure equally the extent of their senses. People with nonsense put themselves elsewhere and gain no perspective of themselves, for their measurement is false from the center of themselves to the extent of their knowledge, for the center is misplaced. To be the center of your universe is stability, for the accurate measurement of your senses’ experiences defines you. But understand the universe is larger than you see. Other centers exist, each with their own sense. You see what others cannot, but the same is said of them, always. To share what you see shares the definition of the you that centers your reality. Understanding that you can see what others don’t is also understanding that others see what you don’t. The universe does not revolve around you. It expands and it challenges you, and it gives you the experience to share, with others, your perspective. You are the you that no one else can deny, for no one else can deny your sense, which is yours alone to accept. But also exists the perspective of the others, who see the reality their sense allows. Those who deal with other challenges you do not, and see from a different place than you. Accepting that they see reality, from a different place, is the key to acceptance in this world.
This is a short story I recently started writing. I’m not satisfied with the ending, but until I figure out how to fix it, it’s not changing.
Soldier squatted in the trench, arms trembling with fear as artillery rained down on all sides. Next to him Sergeant crouched, unmoving, watching for the signal.
“Sargeant, what are we gonna do if they don’t stop shooting?” Soldier asked.
“The same thing we did last time, soldier. We charge and hope we break through this time.”
Soldier thought about Sergeant’s answer. He really wasn’t looking forward to getting shot out in the mud, where he would be left for dead by his companions, but he really didn’t have a choice. He was told to be here, told to put his life on the line, and told there was no going back.
Soldier knew if he ran from the trench, his countrymen would arrest him as a traitor. He knew if he did not put his life on the line, he would be arrested as a traitor. He knew if he tried going back, he would be shot as a traitor. Soldier knew he was not a traitor, and so here he was. Scared witless for his own life.
“Get a grip, Soldier.” Sergeant said. “The signal will go off any minute now. We have to show the enemy that we’re tougher and meaner than them!”
“But Sergeant, I’m not tough or mean. I’m the son of a shopkeeper from a small village. The meanest thing I’ve ever done was stick a frog on a girl’s book while she was looking away.”
Sergeant brought his eyes down from the sky to look at Soldier. “Sticking frogs on books won’t win us the war, son, we need to kill the enemy or they will kill us!”
Soldier thought some more. He never killed anything in his life. His mind went back to one night, just after the turn of the year, when the snows were blanketing the world in their soft embrace. It was his honeymoon, and his bride was upset there was a rat under the bed. She ranted and raved, but Soldier could not bring himself to kill the invading rodent. Eventually he managed to herd the rat out of the door into the cold, but he could not help but feel sorry for the little creature who now had to suffer winter’s heartless winds…
“Eyes up, Soldier!”
Soldier was quickly thrust back to the present by Sergeant, who now stood, gesturing to a plume of smoke on the horizon.
“There’s the signal, Soldier. Hold your wits and charge!”
Soldier began shaking violently now. He could no longer hear the sounds of artillery shells nearby, but he heard the sound of gunfire in the distance. Lots of gunfire.
“Show your courage, Soldier! Show those monsters what we’re made of!”
Soldier stood up, still shaking with fear. He could hear his own weapon rattling in his hands as Sergeant climbed out of the trench.
“Come on Soldier! Up and let at them! Kill them all!”
Soldier climbed unsteadily up the trench, sounds of his fellow countrymen yelling and firing weapons nearby were the only thing he could hear now. He watched Sergeant begin to sprint towards the enemy while calling Soldier to follow. Soldier obeyed.
With weapon in hand and adrenaline in his veins, Soldier let out a loud yell and began printing after Sergeant. Bullets hit the ground all around Soldier’s feet as he gained speed. He watched Sergeant in the distance reach the enemy trench and jump down into it. Soldier was nearly there when he heard a loud thwiiip and he felt his whole body fall backwards into the mud. He looked up and saw blood everywhere. On his weapon, on his hands, and on his chest. He could not figure out what happened, but he immediately began to feel cold.
As his fellow countrymen ran around and over him, his last thoughts went to his parents, to his wife, and to his unborn child, whom he would never meet.
1910‘s: “That one decade when we went and got ourselves involved in European affairs“
1920‘s: “The decade of moonshiners“
1930‘s: “Still moonshiners, but also no money“
1940‘s: “World War II, and the decade that made the US a superpower“
1950‘s: “Still new to being a superpower, but owning it pretty well“
1960‘s: “Hippies and drugs, because being a superpower has it’s drawbacks“
1970‘s: “Still hippies and drugs, but also disco“
1980‘s: “Wait, where’d all the money go? Also heavy metal“
1990‘s: “dot-com bubble, also now the only superpower in existence“
2000‘s: “The world didn’t end, yay! Also terrible music“
2010‘s: “I’ve been told I have a terrible attenti- Wait, did you see that?”
Christmas, to me, is a very special holiday. It’s a day spent with either friends or family (or both), to exchange gifts and stories, and reflect upon the miraculous birth of my Savior.
For many people, it’s the same way. For others, it’s a more depressing time of the year.
I’ve met many people that don’t celebrate Christmas, and I’ve also met kids that are “forced to celebrate” with their family.
Now, I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already been said by many people much smarter than I am, but people don’t celebrate for Christ anymore. It’s so essential to the Holiday, because it’s the only difference between the most religious day of the year, and the most materialistic day of the year.
There are many people who don’t worship Christ, have no family, and no friends. This day is not a day of happiness, so much as a day of constant depression for these people.
While today is a day of celebration for both the religious and materialistic alike, I pray we don’t let the Holiday traditions stand between us and those around us who are alone or hurting.
Christ came as a willing sacrifice. God, born as a man. An infant child. A Child that came to grow, and as the Son of God, he would die for me.
Christmas is a celebration of the miraculous Birth, but is becoming more and more secular with each passing year. We can’t let this light die. We can’t forget the Birth of Christ. Let’s not hide it in traditions created by man for our own enjoyment. Let’s celebrate Christ today. And let’s share that celebration with those around us.
It’s a supposedly age-old question being asked by a majority of the World’s population. I think it’s one that can be answered.
In the book of Genesis, it’s made pretty clear that everything was made perfect. In a Biblical worldview, I can guess that things are no longer as perfect as they once were (insert big “duh!” here). I can also discern that a perfect God is also not to blame for the World’s problems, because problems are a result of imperfections.
So who’s to blame for the problems of the earth? Let me answer that question with another question: who was given dominion over the earth? Genesis 1:26 says God made man to have dominion over the earth (or over the animals of the earth).
So is it possible we’re to blame? I thing so, but I’ll continue to explain why.
I believe our problems began with our ancestors, Adam and Eve, who were told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course, they did, and it was the first of a multitude of sins to enter the world and corrupt the once-perfect serenity of our planet. We, as the offspring of Adam and Eve, have inherited a natural tendency to sin in likewise manner.
I firmly hold to the belief that I have problems that have doomed me to live an imperfect life here on earth.
Now, I know this might sound depressing at first, but I’ll have more to say later: The problem with the world is me. I deserve nothing good that has ever come my way. I’m a lying thief and and so many other undesirable things. I’m a rebel guilty of the highest form of treason. I’m a witless scumbag that cares only about personal gain.
I’m a sinner, a man doomed for hell for everything I’ve done. My only hope is found in a man who claimed he could pay for my sins by sacrificing his own life. A man who loved me more than any other living person ever will. A man who was God Himself. The Son, a specific member of the Trinity, was sent to endure the wrath of a holy and righteous Judge. The same righteous wrath that was due for me was placed on the shoulders of the Son of God.
My punishment of eternal torment has been made void, and I still complain about how imperfect my day is. A perfect Man was killed in my place, and I’m still angry when things don’t quite go my way.
The problem with the world? The problem with the world is me, is not knowing a good thing when it’s given to us, is not knowing how perfect we aren’t and how much we already have that we don’t deserve.
My life is not my own, but was bought by Christ with blood and nails. May I never forget how much he payed for me.
1 Corinthians 13:13: “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand it’s own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
1 Peter 4:8: “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”
1 John 4:16-19: …”God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love becomes more perfect… Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not experienced his perfect love. We love each other because He first loved us.”
Obviously, the Bible makes it clear that we are to love one another, and that love should be very important to us. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is no doubt among my favorite Bible verses. Nowhere in the secular world is there such a clear description of a wonderful concept. The problem is that even as Christians, we seem to forget what love really is. There is no emotion called love, it’s a fairy tale made for people that only want to do what their emotions tell them. This is what it is, there is no other way of defining it.
1 John 4:20 says “If someone says ‘I love God,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?”
In verse 21 he adds: “Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.”
Everything regarding love, every command the Bible gives to us, every situation involving love, is timeless and applies to us as much as it ever did. Yet there are innumerable situation within the churches around the world that are downright unloving. Love is what holds us together, and when we lose that, we cannot function as the Body of Christ. We can’t serve the Lord with hate any more than we could substitute baking powder with baking soda. The intentions are the same, but the result is an undesirable one.
So we should all remember to embrace one another in love, and remember that it requires patience and sacrifice. And humility can help.